Jurgen Klopp says Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain still has a Liverpool future

While backing the English international, he also insists that Thiago Alcantara will show his best form next season.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in a file photo; Credit: Twitter

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has asserted that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain still has a future at Liverpool. He is hopeful that things will change next season when the backline becomes stable. The English midfielder, who has struggled for playtime this campaign, has featured only 14 times in all competitions for the team. Klopp has explained the reasons behind Oxlade-Chamberlain’s limited game time this season.

Ahead of their game against Southampton at Anfield, Klopp told reporters, “The summer is important for all of us, and for Ox it’s exactly the same. When you don’t start games, then you have to use each training session and each minute on the pitch in a game to convince. I don’t have to be convinced, to be honest, but it’s about showing up in these kind of situations.”

“Oxlade had really good moments. He trains really well. These situations are not easy; for Naby [Keita] it is not easy, for Shaq [Xherdan Shaqiri] it is not easy, for some other players as well. I know that. But during the season, a lot of things happened. The one thing we tried to get, and when we got it we tried to keep it, was balance and rhythm, stability. That means that you don’t change these positions too often. That’s it, pretty much.”

Klopp also said how their changing backline, owing to multiple injuries, has affected some players from getting many minutes on the pitch. “With always having a different defence, the midfield needed to be different to other times, when we were much more settled, much more stable. That’s the reason why some players don’t have enough minutes,” he added.

“That will hopefully change completely next season because if you have that stability in the last line, then you can be more flexible in the formation, further up the pitch.”

When asked if he was still counting on Oxlade-Chamberlain for next season, and if his faith in the midfielder had ever wavered, Klopp replied: “Yes, and no!”

On Thiago

Thiago Alcantara, who moved from Bayern Munich last September, has endured a difficult first season in the Premier League. However, Klopp backs Thiago to come good next season.

“Thiago, in a really difficult season, has become a very important player for us,” he said. “That is the most important thing you can say about him. He started really well, then got a bad injury and an annoying one as well because it took really long [to heal] then he came back into the team that is not really clicking.”

“As a football player, he works a lot and is a good, hard-working guy, but he comes rather from the technical side and was used to different patterns at Bayern Munich and all these kinds of things, so it is not a year where a new signing just shines, especially in midfield.”

The manager is convinced that they will be able to get the best out of the midfielder. “But we are completely happy with him. We will see the best of him. I don’t think we saw it already, but that is not a problem. We are 100 per cent convinced we will get the best out of him because he is a world-class player,” he added.




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